The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it is pleased with the implementation of various preventive measures that it has put in place across the country as a way of guarding all taxpayers against Covid-19 pandemic.
The measures were instituted and are currently still in force since April 20, 2020 and specifically aimed at protecting employees, taxpayers and their families.
Taking stock of the measures exactly a month later, MRA head of corporate affairs Steve Kapoloma said in an interview that the tax collector is pleased with the response to its range of service options that taxpayers and traders can use to engage MRA.
“Our aim is to ensure that the authority minimises face-to-face contact and exposure and we are pleased with the response so far,” he said, while encouraging taxpayers to utilise most of the services that MRA has put in place.
As of yesterday, Malawi had registered 70 Covid-19 cases with 27 people recovering from the virus while 3 people have died of the same.
Kapoloma said MRA besides filing manual tax returns at their offices, taxpayers are encouraged to use online services to submit tax returns during the lockdown.
For example, he said the authority has created emails for taxpayers to use when submitting their tax returns for their respective stations such as email@example.com for large taxpayers office,
firstname.lastname@example.org for Blantyre Domestic Taxes Office, email@example.com for Lilongwe Domestic Taxes Office and firstname.lastname@example.org for Mzuzu Domestic Taxes Office.
Kapoloma also explained that taxpayers are also encouraged to pay taxes online through the e-payments platform plus other modes of payments such as MO626, Easy mobile *322#, FDH mobile *525#, Ecobank mobile app and internet banking.
Taxpayers are encouraged to make use of these online platforms available and avoid visiting MRA offices in order to minimize face-to-face interaction, Kapoloma added.
A visit at Mchinji border last week and its inland border stations within Lilongwe also showed that the communities around the border post with Zambia are taking heed of the measures that MRA has put in place such as use of masks as well as washing hands regularly using the water buckets and soap placed strategically around the station.
One of the members of the community at the border Julius Chokani said together with all his family members, they are taking extra care in preventing the contraction of the virus, stressing that he has onseveral occasions been sensitised on the dangers of the pandemic by MRA staff at the border.
A security guard at the border Charles Bisani also said he is constantly using the mask as well as regularly washing his hands considering the risks associated with his work place.
“There is still traffic of people to and from Chipata in Zambia, Lusaka and even we see people passing through from DRC Congo and these are the people who can contaminate some us here in Malawi. So I am always on high alert because it’s a policy at MRA for us workers to be in the forefront to fight against this disease,” said Bisani.